Denis Chang & Fleche D'Or: Donna Lee
Denis Chang (guitar)
Nature Boy (Hot Club Records HRCD 202)
Denis Chang (guitar),
Sean Craig (tenor sax), Ritary Gaguenetti, Hervé Gaguenetti (guitars), Alex Bellegarde (bass).
Composed by Charlie Parker.
Recorded: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2006
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
It has been suggested that the Hot Club Swing movement led by Django Reinhardt was dealt a death blow with the advent of bebop. But Django himself had enthusiastically embraced the emerging force and was already breaking away from the standard Hot Club la pompe format, recording with more mainstream rhythm sections and even jamming with Dizzy, then on a postwar European tour. Since the legendary Romani guitarist never had the opportunity to share the stage with Bird, one can only speculate what direction jazz guitar would have taken had they met. On this track, Denis Chang offers a hint of what such a summit meeting may have produced.
Having forged his reputation as one of the world's top instructors of the jazz Manouche guitar style, Canadian guitarist Denis Chang has effectively debunked the old saw that "those who can't, teach." Chang obviously can, and his impressive command of the lingua Djanca is in full throttle as he and fellow soloist Ritary Gaguenetti tackle one of the most challenging anthems in bebop. Following tenorman Sean Craig's blistering up-tempo charge, the Selmer-style petite bouche guitars sail smoothly through turbulent bebopian waters. We can only dream of what might have been, but Denis Chang & Flèche D'Or have brought us closer to answering the question, "What Would Django Do?"
Reviewer: Bill Barnes